So, a month ago, I handed the book off to my beta readers and commenced pacing for two weeks. Besides wearing a path in the carpet, I lost some weight (expected) and got a lot of great feedback on the book. I had reached that point in the writing process where I was really stuck. I liked my story but wasn’t in love with it, and that was mainly because I really hated the first few chapters. Well, my readers were awesome and gave me great feedback about all the parts they liked and didn’t like. Then Cari gave me the best feedback of all and a light bulb turned on in my brain. I made some pretty radical decisions about the course of the story and cut almost 6000 words off the front of the book. Then I completely rewrote it and it changed almost all of my characters. I think that I ended up rewriting about 80% of the book entirely.
But here’s the great news: I now have a book that I really love. I love it enough that I don’t think that much of it is going to change between draft 2 and 3 (at least theme-wise.) I still have a lot of grammar and sloppy writing to clean up, but I think that the story is strong. It’s now out with readers again and I’m hoping that they give it a good, critical eye and tell me if I missed any holes I need to fill in.